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Thread: new flash player with GPU support

  1. #1
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    new flash player with GPU support

    Today we’re making available a preview of Adobe® Flash® Player
    lash Player “Square” leverages the new GPU support available with Internet Explorer 9 Beta to deliver a faster and more responsive user experience. In our internal testing, we’ve seen significant improvements in Flash Player graphics performance – exceeding 35% in Internet Explorer 9 Beta compared to Flash Player running in previous versions of IE
    http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2...er-square.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member bluemagica's Avatar
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    So this is IE only?
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  3. #3
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    Well, it's a step. I don't think it's in the right direction though.. If Apple and Microsoft can do hardware acceleration in their HTML5 implementations, why doesn't Adobe have the resources and skill to do it in the Flash plugin? This IE specific acceleration seems ill-advised since it breaks up the cross-platform nature of Flash deployment.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    Seconded. This is "great news", but I'm going to be forced to cater to the "lowest common denominator" so that a project runs well in ALL browsers. Which means not taking advantage of this "great news". Oh well.

  5. #5
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    Also, 35% increase in performance is still abominably slow in comparison to other technologies.
    It sounds like a little tweak to the Player rather than a complete overhaul, which Adobe needs to do to compete.
    Last edited by dandylion13; 09-16-2010 at 02:43 PM.

  6. #6
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    I agree. 30 odd percent from GPU support? That's some very basic, very hacky GPU support.

    GPU support should be more like a 1000 to 2000% increase in performance, and just from a low end graphics card too, like a GeForce mobile. That's the kind of difference you'd see in C++ between software rendering and GPU rendering, especially with 3D stuff.

    I guess it's a start, but IE9 only? So no Firefox users and other browser users, plus no Windows XP users.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bluemagica's Avatar
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    Umm, is the guys at adobe seriously doing this as a major release? I guess adobe has no more interest in developing flash....sigh....

    If a technology whose main selling point was platform independability, focuses on a platform specific feature that too at such a minor benefit, then it is practically killing itself. I agree IE has much higher penetration than the other browsers, but how many of those are up to date? heck people are still using IE6....there is almost no point of adding GPU support if the devs can't bring it to their clients....
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  8. #8
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    I totally agree with what´s been so far in this thread. On one side i for some reason still always want to give them the benefit of the doubt, one day, one day, they could maybe get it right before its too late, but if this is really all they´ve got to show for their hyped up october announcment, that wouldn´t be enough at all and yeah, really an act in the wrong direction.
    I understand how it came to this, i mean Adobe and previously Macromedia wanted to do as few hardware specific as possible on graphics side, so only implement the lowest common denominator of what is exposed to a plugin via the system or browser indirectly.
    The problem is meanwhile for a while now this manner turns into the opposite of what it was intended for: Flash became crazy in cpu and ram expectations compared to what can be done with other technologies with the same or way lower resources and now they´re not going all the way with gpu support again since they seem to be still wanting to resist to rewrite many graphical features to be gpu acceleration based from the ground up and hence, well, then things pop up like even basic 2D content having to be optimized on iPhone when done in flash while the device can actually handle pretty intense 3d games or fullscreen highdef video without any problems.
    And well, getting a bit of performance increase by using a feature that only one browser, only in latest version support? wtf?
    Its again like their previous last "big leap" where now on some macs in some cases video playback performance is improved some.
    And btw when someone thinks IE is still the most widespread browser: That only is true for windows machines of course, on other platforms, especially mobile IE is pretty much not present at all compared to others.

    If this is really all they got, i wonder how they will present it that anyone besides the most blinded Adobe fanboys would find this any good, the only way i can see finding such things as good is if one totally ignores what is possible on any device when using different tech.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bluemagica's Avatar
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    the only way this can be used(let alone being considered good), if we put "all hail microsoft. Upgrade to the latest IE9 if you want to play this short game during your recess", along with the traditional "Upgrade your flash player" link....

    Seriously, would it hurt adobe to re-code their flash player instead of relying on the stoneage codebase of flash player 1? These minor upgrades and the lazy approach to the "very important" backward compatibility, is practically killing flash.......
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  10. #10
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Yeah, i totally agree. Me personally, i´m meanwhile only using flash for 3 cases on the web:
    -some video centric projects which wouldn´t be possible with html5 in that form yet
    -some 2d games
    -some client advertising projects

    For everything else flash has basically already made itself obsolete in my eyes because it doesn´t run on too many important platforms or performs worse than other solutions. Next to that flash also has this ridiculous "security" policy of ignoring most browser security settings and then coming up with its own which then make the most basic things like showing a jpeg from another domain a hassle.

    Add on top of that that one will now get even way more largely varying performance across OS and browser versions and that is a total nogo to me.

    Well, i´m already passing my feedback on to Adobe guys in various channels, they really have to wake up like now, the "this fall or next year with the next release and the one after will be so much better!!" doesn´t fly anymore. The worst part is that its not just slow reaction by them, but often totally misguided one like this move now again.
    Bummer that with people like Mike Chambers who ignore serious concerns and totally go with the company line of rather hyping up the most ridiculous nonsense and act like there would be no problems i don´t feel like they´re getting it.

  11. #11
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    It may be IE9 only now, but all the other main browsers will be moving towards a GPU powered canvas sooner rather than later, so don't think this is a IE only tie in.

    Also, if I said I could give you an increase in performance with your games of over 33% and you don't have to code a line to get it you wouldn't mind would you ?

    There seems to be no managing of expectations when it comes to Flash updates, it's like everyone always expects the next dot release to suddenly turn it into Unity and then bitc'h when it doesn't happen.
    If you feel that Flash can't enable you to make the gaming experiences you want to make then there's lots more relatively cheap alternatives you can use.

    Personally I'm happy with it. It enables me to do more and it's not costing me a penny, so I'm hardly hard done by.

    Squize.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bluemagica's Avatar
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    I don't want flash to be unity with the next dot release, rather I want it to show the progress adobe has been shouting about for the past hundreds of dot releases. sure 33% improvement is good and all, but as a dev, how long will it take before we can utilise that? It will require people to not only upgrade their flash players but also upgrade their browsers.... and what do you think is going to motivate them to do it? a tiny bit faster gameplay? by the time, the new line of 33% faster content will reach them, other technologies would have already moved far beyond that(well they are already beyond that).

    Yeh, as you say, we can all desert flash and move on to other technologies, and many devs are already doing that. But just think a bit, we are not demanding something impossible from adobe, we are just asking it to do what is well possible and other technologies are doing already. If adobe can't see the solutions right infront of it, then flash will die, and we will leave.
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  13. #13
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Yeah, i am one of those in the camp of ones who use other technologies where flash isn´t up to it.

    " I said I could give you an increase in performance with your games of over 33% and you don't have to code a line to get it "

    ...and if i would know you´re an Adobe spokesperson, i would read the subtext very carefully and see: wait, only on one browser, only one browser version, hm, also says works best with certain wmode settings and bitmaps..
    o k...right..

    Yeah, nah, i would be pretty pissed and think its totally stupid to only get such a performance increase with one specific browser/OS combo cause it means as reasonable developer i should totally not make any use of it at all cause otherwise the content would run super poorly on the huge large majority of machines which don´t have that specific combo.

    Anyway, nice you´re happy with it Squize, but its pretty weird you put it as being hard to manage expectations when talking about flash evolution. Adobe themselves each dot and full version release hype their stuff up as if it was the next HUGE deal so its reasonable people expect something at least halfway coming close to that after so many years.
    Its also reasonable that people wonder what is up with Adobe or the Flash Player Team when it has been argued by them so long that proper full on use of the gpu/graphics card hardware isn´t been done to keep the thing as platform independent as possible, but then, in 2010, when even most average grade smartphones have pretty powerful gpus they still don´t make proper use of these but rather go for "solutions" which are way less useful and way more hardware and OS and browser and even browser version specific.

  14. #14
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    oh, yes, btw, an important point in the topic is: Adobe seems to have a VERY different view when its about "hardware accelerated" than what everyone else in the industry understands when one talks like that.
    I guess Adobe marketing geniuses decided that it is totally to be declared as making proper use of the gpu when just the final image is handled by the gpu and still pretty much all computations needed to actually create that image are still handled by the cpu.
    Hence why it even with gpu support runs at laughable performance.
    Its totaly cheating, but hey, it allows them to talk about it having gpu acceleration support now..

  15. #15
    Custom User Title Incrue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squize View Post
    It may be IE9 only now, but all the other main browsers will be moving towards a GPU powered canvas sooner rather than later, so don't think this is a IE only tie in.
    And when 99% of the users will be using browsers like this? In 10 years?

  16. #16
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    "And when 99% of the users will be using browsers like this? In 10 years?"

    You're a game developer right ? So you know that our target audience is quite specific. If you're targeting games for portals then it's fair to say that most of the gamers keep their software pretty up to date.

    I don't know IE's current strangle hold on the browser share, let's say it's 70%. Possibly only 50% of that share will be running IE9 in the next year. That's 35% of the total browser market running IE9. Not much ( In percentage terms ), and then how many of that 35% will be using the latest version of Flash. Again, even less.

    But those are general figures. The percentage of gamers going to portals who have the latest browser / Flash will be much much higher.
    If you want to target the extra power and build for it, cool. If you'd rather wait and see what adoption rates are like, then it's down to you.

    The huge buzz about html5 is pushing browser development a lot, it really won't be long before all the browsers support this on all desktops.

    I really don't know what people want from Flash. Is it a transmedia thing ? So a publish to any device and it runs the same on whatever platform.
    That's never going to happen, not while it has to stay backwards compatible. Adobe are doing a pretty good job but it's always going to run slowly, just like it does in the browser.

    Is it GPU support so we can have 3D running well ? The thing with 3D is it's like all graphics, it's got to be done well or it looks crap.
    The only pre-hype I've heard from Adobe is about some improved 3D support, I don't know if it's meant to be this build or not, but no matter what it's not going to be stunning is it.
    But lets suppose they really nail it ( It could happen one day ). It'll be like the change between console generations, SNES to Playstation.

    How many people are ready to really change their workflow for 3D. The production demands are far greater, not just in terms of asset creation, but then you've got to factor in all the other things, such as shader ( Pixelbender ? ) coding, collision detection, path finding etc. These aren't going to be first party libraries like in existing 3D middleware, Adobe have never provided anything for game devs so there's not a chance in hell we're going to get any of this out of the box.
    Is there enough money in the indie market to support increased production times ? Won't making a high standard game become as much of a risk in Flash as it is with other platforms ? And if thats the case, what's the remaining advantage of Flash ?

    I'm not saying Flash should stand still, it needs to push forward and improve, but the heavy criticism of every single release wears a bit thin after a while. We're all consumers, we're Adobe's customers. If you don't like what they're doing then vote with your wallet and stop buying their products and use something else.

    Squize.

  17. #17
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    I´ve had enough Adobe related discussion again for a while so i´m not into arguing with you anymore either, so i best don´t talk about the browser adoption thoughts you have a lot, i´d love it for sure if next year i don´t see anymore IE6 people visiting sites, it makes me sad
    Regarding what people want from flash, well, i can´t talk for everyone but me personally i don´t see full on gpu acceleration of all graphics side things as purely useful for 3D and its also not what i want it for in flash.
    (And of course once switching to 3D game creation there are many new things to tackle and solve as you remarked nicely so it could be that that´s not even what would be useful to most besides maybe for some visual effects or semi 2.5D games as they are called now).

    As i said before i already use other technologies for 3D stuff and i find it more than just unlikely that Adobe could or would even want to get close to those in the 3D field regarding what they can do and are used for.

    What i´d like the gpu acceleration for is for 2D stuff mostly actually.
    You know, to finally stop this nonsense of: hey, now if i code this in AS3 in this way or use pixelbender that way i will gain like maybe 5-10 fps more in total, while in reality the huge bottleneck is on the display side all these years, so, why not tackle the actual problem?

    Same goes for having to rely on nonsense like cacheAsBitmap or doing everything bitmapdata based, basically ideally not using any of the functionality that made flash big initially to gain a bit better performance.

    I like using bitmapdata where it makes sense and makes more sense than using vectors or the ide driven editing tools i general.

    But i hate it that its the main forced way to gain acceptable performance with some kind of (even 2D) flash content, especially on "weaker" platforms (not to talk about the side that a bitmapdata based approach of course makes flash content memory hogs in many cases as you´re dealing with uncompressed image data there most times).

    Etc etc,yada yada, i guess you got my drift and i got yours, let´s get along as we are, we don´t have to agree on all


    Yes, when i´m sleepy after marathon coding sessions i either get into moany groany mode or happy fappy chilly nilly mode.
    Which is more weird?

  18. #18
    Hype over content... Squize's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm not in the mood for one of our epic discussions either mate

    I've said my bit, and that's enough for me.

    Squize.

  19. #19
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Same here with me and i think we´ve had enough of our epic discussions for a while, so for once: i totally agree with you :-)

    and with that hell froze over, it started raining cats and dogs and all was good.

  20. #20
    Senior Member bluemagica's Avatar
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    Wow, world war 2.5(between the dino and the zombie) got avoided......

    Anyway, while this "move to other technology if flash doesn't live up to the expectations" thing is going on, I would like to know what "other technologies" are you guys gathering in your arsenals(other than unity)?
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